CHICAGO BEARS coach Lovie Smith expects running back Matt Forte to return this season from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.
Smith said he "looked pretty good" yesterday, but he wouldn't put a timetable on Forte's return. Chances are he will miss a few games, although he played through a similar injury in 2009.
"Can't tell you exactly when or whether it's this week or next week or whatever, but hopefully we'll get him back soon," Smith said.
Forte was injured in the first quarter of Sunday's 10-3 loss to Kansas City and left the game. Chicago was already missing quarterback Jay Cutler, who is out indefinitely with a broken right thumb.
Smith said the Bears won't bring in a veteran quarterback even though Caleb Hanie is struggling, squashing speculation that they'll sign Donovan McNabb.
"We're not looking on the outside," Smith said. "We're not having a quarterback tryout or anything like that."
He also dismissed a report that offensive coordinator Mike Martz will be gone after the season. He has an expiring contract, and his name has been linked to head-coaching openings at UCLA and Arizona State.
The Bears (7-5) have more immediate concerns. Three of the Chicago's remaining four games are on the road, starting this week at Denver.
In other injury news:
* New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said offensive lineman Stacy Andrews will not play again this season. Andrews was hospitalized Saturday with a pulmonary embolism in each lung. "It is a very, very serious medical condition," Coughlin said.
Also, Giants safety Kenny Phillips has a brace on his sprained left knee and Coughlin says doctors are uncertain how long he will be out.
* St. Louis backup quarterback A.J. Feeley has a small fracture in his right thumb, leaving his availability in doubt for next Monday's game at Seattle. Starter Sam Bradford's status is iffy, too. Also, Rams guard Jacob Bell could miss the final four games with a ligament tear in his right knee.
* Houston receiver Andre Johnson sustained a "mild" left hamstring injury Sunday. The Texans also lost punter Brett Hartman (torn left knee ligaments) for the season.
* New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips has a brace on his sprained left knee and coach Tom Coughlin says doctors are uncertain how long he will be out.
* Jets running back Joe Mc-Knight, who leads the NFL in kick-return average, has a hyperextended right elbow that could sideline him for the Kansas City game.
* San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis underwent an MRI exam on his injured right hamstring and his status for Sunday's game at Arizona is unclear.
* Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder has a hip pointer, but coach Leslie Frazier said trainers told him the rookie "should be fine" for this Sunday's game against Detroit.
In other NFL news:
* Dallas coach Jason Garrett says he still sees nothing wrong with how he managed the end of regulation in the overtime loss to Arizona. He insisted there was no need to call a timeout after getting a first down at the 31-yard line with about 25 seconds left, even though Dallas could have run a few plays in hopes of setting up a shorter field goal.
He maintained he "thought it was the right thing to do" in letting the clock wind down and settle for a 49-yard field goal by a rookie kicker who'd already missed from 53 yards, and who'd made a 50-yarder only because of a fortuitous ricochet off an upright.
And he considered it "not really appropriate" to think he may have added to the pressure on his kicker by then calling a timeout just before the rookie was trying that 49-yarder.
"We just wanted to make sure he had an opportunity to kick the game-winner," Garrett said. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out for us."
* The NFL is expected to announce that Washington tight end Fred Davis and left tackle Trent Williams will be suspended for the Redskins' four remaining games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
* A lawsuit filed by 12 former players against the NFL about its concussion policies says there was widespread pregame use of an anti-inflammatory drug that could put someone with a head injury at increased risk. Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn is among the plaintiffs named in the complaint that attorney Christopher Seeger says has been filed in federal court in New Jersey.